Bass Lake, California, is located about an hour northwest of Fresno and 17 miles from the southern gate to Yosemite National Park. Due to Bass Lake’s proximity to Yosemite, the town is a popular hub for campers desiring to enjoy outdoor activities in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
December, January, and February are wonderful months to camp at Bass Lake near Yosemite National Park. The quiet stillness of snowcapped mountain peaks and autumn colors is like a cleanse for the tired soul. Deserted hiking trails make it seem like all of Yosemite is your private playground. It certainly is easy to fall in love with Yosemite winters, but few have the opportunity for such a spectacular experience. If you are lucky enough to visit Yosemite during the winter months, you’ll want to enjoy everything the area has to offer this time of year. Keep reading for our complete guide to exciting Yosemite winter activities!
The beauty. Imagine scenes of granite monoliths encased in ice crystals towering above snow covered meadows. Waterfalls, newly revived with the season’s welcome rains, send mist into nearby forests, frosting the trees with ice, creating a winter wonderland many only dream of seeing.– Yosemite This Year
Planning a camping trip to Bass Lake this winter? Check out these invigorating winter activities!
Goat Meadow Snow Play Area – Fish Camp Winter Activities
Fish Camp, located within minutes of Bass Lake, offers guided and self-guided snow-shoeing hikes, sledding, and snow tubing. Fish Camp is also well-known for the Yosemite Sugar Pine Railroad, a heritage tourist line offering seasonal railroad tours.
Yosemite Winter Hikes
Valley Loop Trail – 11.5 Miles (Full Loop)
The Valley Loop Trail charts along many of the Valley’s first east-west trails and wagon roads. It’s a relatively level trail with scenic views including meadows, talus slopes at the base of granite cliffs, and the Merced River.
Mirror Lake Loop – 2 Miles (Round Trip to Lake and Back), 5 Miles (Loop Around Lake)
The Mirror Lake Loop trail offers hikers a fresh perspective looking up at Half Dome from its base. The hike includes incredible views of Tenaya Canyon, Mount Watkins, and Washington Column.
Note: Seasoned hikers recommend taking a trekking pole when hiking in the winter. It is also recommended to bring plenty of water and snacks and layer your clothing.
Ice Skating at Curry Village
Since the 1930s, ice skating at Curry Village in Yosemite National Park is a family tradition for many. Imagine gliding across the ice with Half Dome and the valley cliffs in the distance. Outdoor ice skating in Yosemite is a magical experience! They even have a fire pit for warming up and making s’mores.
Badger Pass Ski Area
The Badger Pass Ski Area is located about 90 minutes from Bass Lake, but it’s well worth the drive!
When visiting Yosemite during the winter months, snowshoeing is an absolute must! Snowshoeing in Yosemite is an excellent activity for park visitors of all ages.
Guided Snowshoe Hikes
Looking for more of a challenge? Consider signing up for a guided snowshoe hike in Yosemite. Yosemite Mountaineering School offers moderate and advanced snowshoe hikes to discover the wonders of Yosemite’s winter environment.
Cross Country Skiing to Glacier Point
Want to crank it up a notch? For more extreme winter sports, grab your skis and head to Glacier Point. Glacier Point towers over 3,000 feet above the valley floor to offer some of the most exquisite views in all of Yosemite – including Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and the Yosemite High Country. In wintertime, the only way to reach Glacier Point is via cross-country skiing or snowshoe. Visit the Nordic Center at Badger Pass Ski Area for cross-country ski rentals and lessons. Click here for help planning your visit to Badger Pass Ski Area.
For more information on all Bass Lake has to offer, read the Madera County Visitor’s Guide for 2022.